Deadliest days for teen driving underway - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deadliest days for teen driving underway

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The Iowa DOT is sending out a warning telling Iowans the deadliest driving season for teens is now underway. The DOT is spreading the word across the state's traffic signs this week.

Data shows the time between Memorial day and Labor day, when school's out for the summer, is when teens get into the most deadly crashes.

"Summer months seem to be more dangerous than winter months or fall months, mainly because teen drivers are out of school, they're driving more looser, their curfew is not as restricted as during the school days," said Jon Stickney, trooper with the Iowa State Patrol.

In fact, the Iowa dot says the next 100 days are not only dangerous for teens behind the wheel -- they're deadly. Deadly, not just for them, but also for other people.

Trooper Stickney, who has seen his fair share of teen car accidents says a lot of them are caused by distractions. "Instead of those drivers specifically concentrating on the task of driving their car, they get in deep conversations, or joking conversations, with their friends which is often a teenaged thing to do. Teenage drivers like to have fun," he said.

The dangers go up even more, when teen drivers have passengers in the car who are also teenagers.  The crash rate increases 44-percent.

To help reduce the risk of a crash, Trooper Stickney has some tips for both teens and their parents. 

"The number one goal we encourage young drivers to do, is one...plan safely, plan your routes to where you're going to go, make it purposeful, minimize distractions inside your vehicle, eliminate texting and driving," he added.

Other tips experts have for parents of teen drivers are, minimize other people in the car, especially teenagers. Also, make sure your teen isn't drowsy -- that they are alert. 

The DOT says there have been 143 fatal accidents so far this year. That's actually a 30-percent increase from last year. 

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